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Facebook Negotiated Its Rules

Great column from Matt Levine, writing for Bloomberg:

But the process wouldn’t be a one-on-one negotiation. It’s not like Congress would say “we want to regulate your data collection practices” and Facebook would say “hmm no we’d rather you didn’t” and Congress would say “okay you have good lawyers we give up.” Facebook’s main leverage against the FTC — “we don’t think we did anything wrong and if you insist on restricting our data collection we will see you in court” — just wouldn’t work to stop Congress from making a law, because it is irrelevant. Congress can make a law about data privacy even if no one has broken any previous laws. In fact that’s the best reason to make a law! “There is a bad thing that is happening, and there is no law against it, so we should make a law against it”: That is a perfectly sensible line of reasoning!

Tuesday, 23 July 2019